Question 1

Today is 68 days from when you dog was bred. She is a 4-year-old Labrador Retriever. This is her first litter. She was not checked for brucellosis before breeding and no vaginal swabs or progesterones were done during the breeding. She was put with the male for a week but he was only interested in breeding her on one day. He is a proven, experienced male. The breeding was apparently normal, with a 10 minute tie. The bitch was normal throughout pregnancy. You had radiographs done at your regular veterinarian's office earlier today because you had read in a book that gestation length for dogs is 63 days and you were worried this is dragging on too long. The radiograph showed one large pup. Your regular veterinarian recommended a C-section. You do not remember why she made that recommendation but do remember that she gave an estimate of $500.00 for the surgery.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Isn't that an awful lot of money?
(2) You trust your regular veterinarian, but why would she recommend such an expensive thing?
(3) Are there any alternatives to C-section?

Question 2

You own a 4-year-old Jack Russell terrier with abnormal heat cycles. She has been in heat 5 times. The heat cycles vary tremendously in length, with the shortest having lasted just 10 days and the longest lasting over 3 weeks. The dog always has lots of bloody vaginal discharge throughout. She was bred on the last three cycles, by AI with fresh semen to proven sires, and did not conceive. No vaginal swabs or progesterones were done at the time of breeding but the semen was checked each time and looked okay. She is not in heat right now.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Are there any tests you can do right now to determine the cause of her infertility?
(2) Do you want to see her when she's in heat? What tests would you do at that time?
(3) Can you predict when she's going to go into heat?

Question 3

You have a 7-month-old Bernese Mountain dog. She was diagnosed with puppy vaginitis by your regular veterinarian at about 8 weeks of age when she was in for first puppy shots. Since that time, the amount of mucoid discharge exuding from her vulva has worsened and she has licked at the area enough to cause secondary perivulvar dermatitis. Her vulva is very small and tucked up. Your regular veterinarian recommended that you allow the bitch to go through one heat cycle but you do not want the mess of heat and are afraid to leave her outside when she's in heat because you have an Invisible Fence so other dogs can enter your yard readily. You also know that spaying dogs before they go through heat decreases the chance of their developing mammary tumors when they're older.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Will letting her go through one heat cycle increase the size of her vulva permanently?
(2) Why would letting her go through one heat cycle help the vaginitis problem?
(3) Will antibiotic therapy help or will it just give her a vaginal yeast infection?

Question 4

You have a 6-year-old Doberman pinscher. He is being used at stud for the first time. The bitch lives with the male 6 months of the year, when they are in training together at the police department. She has been in heat now for about 12 days. She has been flagging for the last 2 to 3 days but the male is completely uninterested. You went to your regular veterinarian for an artificial insemination yesterday; he said the vaginal swab "looked good" but could not get a semen sample from the male. The male has no history of health problems.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) What are some possible reasons for his lack of libido?
(2) Would a better veterinarian be able to get a sample from him?
(3) Is his lack of libido hereditary?

Question 5

You own a 2-year-old intact female Himalayan. You purchased her as a show cat and she has done very well. You are now ready to breed her. Last year, she started to cycle in late January and went into heat for about one week every month of so until Thanksgiving. You have not seen in her heat for over a year. The cat is acting normally and eating well; in fact, she has gained quite a bit of weight in the last couple of weeks. She is housed with three other female cats, all of whom are cycling normally, and the male.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Why isn't she cycling?
(2) Why has she gained so much weight? Could that be related to her lack of cycling?
(3) What can you do to help with breeding management in the future?

Question 6

You own an 8-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was in heat two weeks ago and was bred accidentally by the neighbor's Corgi. Your regular veterinarian did some tests and gave her a shot he called a "mismate" shot. She did not go out of heat when you expected but instead seemed to stay in heat for quite a while. Just now, she is being bred by a Samoyed in your backyard. Your regular veterinarian is at a conference and you remember there being discussion that timing was important when giving this mismate shot.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Did the first shot work?
(2) Will you give a mismate shot now?
(3) What other options exist and how much do they cost?

Question 7

You own a 5-year-old Shih Tzu that has just been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. He has enlarged lymph nodes in multiple areas of his body but has no other problems; you just took him to your regular veterinarian because you felt those odd lumps. Your regular veterinarian wants to refer you to the University for chemotherapy but you had intended to use this dog for breeding and you need to know more before you give him chemo.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Will chemotherapy for lymphosarcoma affect his reproductive tract?
(2) What options exist for maintaining his breeding capacity and how much do they cost?
(3) Is this cancer hereditary?

Question 8

You own a 4-year-old Maine Coon cat, who had a litter of kittens yesterday. Three were stillborn and three were born alive. Initially the three looked good but now they are crying constantly, their tummies are flat and the queen is ignoring them. When you examine her mammary glands you cannot express any milk and the queen seemed painful. She is not eating and is listless.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Why isn't the queen making any milk?
(2) What tests can you do on the queen to help solve this problem?
(3) You want to feed the kittens; what should you give them, how much, and how frequently?

Question 9

You own a 5-year-old Scottish Deerhound, with a history of infertility. You spoke to a veterinarian at a meeting of your dog club and that veterinarian recommended that cultures be done early in the bitch's heat, before she was bred, and that appropriate antibiotics be given during early gestation. The cultures were done last week at another veterinary clinic and the dog is due to be bred tomorrow. The culture result showed heavy growth of something called Proteus and the only antibiotic marked as sensitive is enrofloxacin.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Is this a safe antibiotic to use during pregnancy?
(2) If we don't treat with antibiotics, will the infection affect her fertility?
(3) What other tests should we be doing to ensure she'll get pregnant and carry healthy pups?

Question 10

You own a kennel of Springer spaniels. One bitch aborted her puppies about a week before she was due to whelp, one month ago. Another bitch aborted just this week. Your regular veterinarian checked both dogs for brucellosis with a kit she had in her clinic and it came up positive both times. She says she now wants to test all the dogs in your kennel using an expensive test she has to send to the East Coast, and then wants to euthanize those that test positive.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Aren't there any local tests that are as accurate as those on the East Coast?
(2) Why do the positive dogs have to be euthanized?
(3) Why did I get a call from the Health Department today? Isn't there some sort of doctor / client privilege that my regular veterinarian should be respecting?

Question 11

You own a 3-year-old intact female Bloodhound. She delivered pups four days ago; five were delivered vaginally and three by C-section. She started acting aggressively before the surgery and has been horrible since. She will not let the pups nurse unless she is held down and must be muzzled to be handled. She is eating and drinking some but not her usual amount and that is making her walk kind of wobbly. She still has a fair amount of vulvar discharge. It is greenish-brown and mucoid, with no odor. Her mammary glands are very distended and pink.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Why is she acting so aggressive right now?
(2) Can we give her some valium to calm her down?
(3) How can we monitor how the pups are doing?

Question 12

You own a 7-year-old intact female Pug. You have owned her since she was a pup. You saw her in heat at about 1 year of age and have seen no heats since. You do not intend to breed her. Your regular veterinarian is encouraging you to spay her.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) What are some possible reasons for her lack of cycling?
(2) Why put her through surgery is she's not functioning reproductively anyway?
(3) What is involved with a spay and what are the side-effects?

Question 13

You own a 9-year-old intact female mixed breed dog. Over the last couple of days she has been increasingly lethargic and unwilling to eat. You took her to the emergency service at your regular veterinarian's clinic last night. They wanted to do a lot of tests but all you could afford were some x-rays. The veterinarian there said the dog has a uterine infection and needs to be spayed right away. The gave you a long estimate sheet including bloodwork, fluids and the surgery, and told you it had to be done immediately.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Why are they pushing to do this so quickly? Is it a scam?
(2) How can they tell from just an x-ray what's wrong?
(3) If it is just an infection, why can't antibiotics clear it up? Can we try that first and only do surgery if the medicine doesn't work?

Question 14

You have an embarrassing problem. You own a 10-year-old male Poodle. He was neutered when he was very young. Over the last couple of months, his penis sticks out of the sheath and just lays there and dries out unless you put Vaseline on it and push it back in place. It doesn't seem to bother the dog but it's really bothering you.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Is this normal in older dogs?
(2) Is there some sort of surgery to fix it?
(3) What sort of medical conditions should I be worried about in general, for this older dog?

Question 15

You own a 7-year-old intact male Weimeraner. He is a popular stud dog and is very commonly used for chilled semen breedings. Recently, his semen has been tan or red in color and he seems painful sometimes when semen is collected. Your regular veterinarian put the dog on Zenoquin for two weeks but that did not change anything. In all other ways, the dog appears perfectly healthy. The discolored semen was used to inseminate two bitches and both became pregnant, although one absorbed the litter late in gestation.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) What are some causes of change in semen color?
(2) Why didn't the antibiotics work?
(3) Did the discolored semen make one bitch lose her pregnancy and if so, how?

Question 16

You found a stray cat over a year ago. You're sure it's female because it's a calico cat. You've never seen the cat go into heat so you assume she was spayed. However, a recent article in Cat Lover's Quarterly discussed how leaving cats unspayed could predispose them to mammary tumors, which you know are very malignant in cats.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) What tests can be done to determine if the cat is spayed?
(2) Could it be a male cat?
(3) How common is mammary cancer in cats and is the article correct regarding the association between incidence of cancer and intact status?

Question 17

Your 3-year-old miniature Schnauzer was just bred for the first time. You did all the genetic testing and all the results were normal or negative. She was bred several times by natural breeding to a proven male several weeks ago. Her appetite is decreased but otherwise she seems fine.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Do dogs get morning sickness?
(2) You want to take her up to the lake with you - what flea and tick products are safe to use during pregnancy?
(3) Should you treat her with heartworm preventative during pregnancy or just skip those couple of months?

Question 18

You started feeding a young female cat outside your place of employment about a month ago. She started gaining weight and you thought that was due to improved nutrition but now you're suspicious she's pregnant. Today one of your co-workers thought he saw her with a kitten hanging off from behind her.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Can kittens born outside in the summer survive?
(2) Should you try to find the kittens and trap the mother to bring them inside?
(3) What food should you provide for the queen to help her raise the kittens?

Question 19

You are fostering a dog that will be trained as a handicapped assistance dog. She is a 6-month-old Golden retriever. The dog has had four urinary tract infections since you got her at eight weeks of age. Your regular veterinarian did a good work-up with culture of urine you brought in to the clinic and evaluation of the dog's vagina with a scope. He says the dog has some sort of abnormality, most likely a stricture, right where the urinary bladder empties into the vagina.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) Is there some other sort of test that will better define what's happening in her vagina?
(2) How would a vaginal anatomy problem cause urinary tract infections?
(3) If there is a stricture there, how do we treat that?

Question 20

You have been waiting for your 3-year-old Affenpinscher to come into heat. The other bitches in the house went through heat about one month ago but this female did not cycle; it has now been 9 months since her last heat cycle. You took her to your regular veterinarian for a work-up and they identified T4 low in the normal range and told you she had a very high progesterone.

Your questions to the veterinarian are:
(1) What are some causes for the elevation in progesterone?
(2) Should we treat for the low normal T4? If not, why not? Do you want to do other thyroid hormone testing?
(3) Is hypothyroidism hereditary?

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